Palau's Golden Jellyfish Lake

By Santirta Martendano Getty Images / Casey Mahaney
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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

Palau is home to one of the most famous snorkeling sites, which has thousands of golden jellyfish swimming in it... See gallery

The Jellyfish Lake is located on Eil Malk island in Palau. Eil Malk is part of a group of Rock Islands, which are mostly uninhabitable, in Palau's Southern Lagoon. The Rock Islands contain about 70 marine lakes, the most famous of which is the Jellyfish lake.

While the lake is mostly isolated, it is connected to the ocean through tunnels in the reef. As a result, the golden jellyfish and other species in the lake have evolved to be somewhat different from the other jellyfish in nearby lagoons.

Many tourists to Palau make it a point to snorkel in Jellyfish Lake, which is a 45 minute boat ride from Koror, a state of Palau. All tourists require a pass to access Jellyfish Lake, which costs USD 35 and is valid for 10 days.

Click through the gallery to see more of Jellyfish Lake...

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

The lake is estimated to be around 12,000 years old!

This is based on the depth of the lake (30 metres), the thickness of the sediment (at least 20 metres) and the sea level since the last ice age. It is estimated that the sea water level had risen high enough to fill the Jellyfish Lake basin 12,000 years ago.

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

Tourists are only allowed to snorkel in the lake as bubbles from scuba tanks can harm the jellyfish if it collects underneath their bell. It forces the jellyfish to the surface of the water where they get stuck.

It is also for the safety of the tourists. The anoxic layer high in concentration of hydrogen sulfide starts at the depth of 15 metres, and is very poisonous and corrosive. It results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. It can be absorbed through the skin of the diver and lead to death. 

Scuba gear and oxygen tanks are not allowed as it puts divers at risk of diving into the anoxic layer.

Getty Images / Jens Kuhfs
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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

Imagine swimming into this giant swarm of jellyfish!

Getty Images / Jens Kuhfs
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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

A snorkeling tourist does just that.

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

The interestingly-shaped jellyfish in turquoise waters.

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

Although the jellyfish in the lake are capable of stinging, they generally do not cause much harm to humans. Even so, people who are allergic to jellyfish are advised to wear protective clothing while snorkeling.

ap / ELISE AMENDOLA/STF
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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

There are two types of species in the lake: the Moon jellyfish and the Golden jellyfish.

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

Oops - these two should not have been scuba diving in the lake!

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

Jellyfish as far as the eye can see.

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

A snorkeler swims among the jellyfish.

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Palau Is Home To Jellyfish Lake

A few species of fish are also found in the lake.

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